COVID-19 Aid To Tribal Government

The Qagan Tayagungin Tribe received $437,612.00 in Aid to Tribal Government from the Bureau of Indian Affairs CARES Act pass through to the Tribe's P.L. 93-638 Contract.  These one-time, non-recurring funds were authorized for use solely to address coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention, preparedness, and response in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities. 

The Qagan Tayagungin Tribal Council met on July 28, 2020 to discuss a proposed budget for these funds.  Appropriated during this council meeting, and approved by the BIA, were the following:

  • $18,988 - Expenses to facilitate distance learning in connection with school closing.  These funds will be able to help students attending classes remotely due to COVID-19 to reduce the unanticipated financial burden of doing so.
  • $3,500.00 - Expenses to improve telework capabilities for public employees to enable compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions.  All of the Tribe's employees who were able to do so, telecommuted from home for a number of weeks when the governor of Alaska asked all those who were able to shelter in place and work from home.  This created unanticipated costs for those employees who were required to utilize their personal internet connections to work.  These funds will reimburse employees for the costs associated with telecommuting, as per the Tribe's telecommuting policy.
  • $177,960 - Enhanced Tribal Card ID making system - With the bankruptcy of RAVN Airlines, and travel restrictions put in place as a result of COVID-19, many Tribal citizens were unable to fly to Anchorage to get a RealID which will be required for travel in the future.  Since there is not a Department of Motor Vehicles in Sand Point, the Tribe has approved moving forward with this system, which in addition to being RealID compliant, also functions equivalent to a US Passport Card. 
  • $3,000 - Replacement of cloth covered furniture with smooth surface furniture.  The Tribal office had some cloth covered furniture in the Tribal Office.  COVID-19 mitigation strategies in the Tribal office require sanitization of surfaces frequently, and staff work to wipe down surfaces between clients.  Smooth surfaces are easier to sanitize than cloth covered surfaces.
  • $6,500 - Replacement of the water fountains to water bottle fountains, to make it easier to sanitize, and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • $6,800 - Installation of Automated External Defibrillators with supplies for Tribal buildings. 
  • $7,268 - 4 Fireproof cabinets for storage of critical Tribal files created in response to COVID-19.
  • $15,200 - Back to School kits with supplies for all students attending Sand Point School.  By providing each student with their own supplies, the need to share supplies, and potential spread the corona virus will be reduced.
  • $10,000 - Expenses for supplies for disinfection of public areas.  Since the pandemic has started, procurement of disinfection supplies has become more difficult, and more costly.  The Tribe had budgeted to procure supplied to increase disinfection of public areas more frequently during the pandemic.
  • $40,000 - Procurement of labor/materials to make masks for distribution to community.  Wearing a fabric face covering when in public and when it's difficult to socially distance has been shown to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.  The Tribe will be providing this PPE to all residents of Sand Point to help protect the community as a whole.
  • $5,000 - Procurement of personal protective equipment for staff.  As staff is now working with the public, the Tribe needs to insure everyone is properly equipped with appropriate PPE to keep both staff, and the public safe in the work place.
  • $9,400 - Expenditures related to costs of business interruption caused by required closures.
  • $81,000 - Costs associated with audit preparation, and all other costs associated with audit completion for FY2020 and FY2021.  Due to the CARES Act and unanticipated federal funding, the Tribe will be required to have audits prepared for the current and next fiscal years.  Staff have also been working closely with the auditors to insure all expenditures of CARES Act funds are done appropriately, and the necessary documentation is in place.
  • $8,000 - Expenses of providing paid sick and paid family & medical leave to enable compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions.  The CDC recommends, and the Tribe's COVID-19 Mitigation Plan states, individuals should NOT report to work while they are experiencing illness symptoms such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, body aches, chills, or fatigue.  To encourage employees to comply with this plan, fund have been budgeted to provide paid leave in these cases.
  • $24,825 - Payroll expenses for additional janitor time to increase cleaning/disinfecting in public spaces.
  • $10,170 - Tribal Payroll Support program
  • $10,000 - Purchase of 2 fogging sanitizers for the airport terminal and the community center, as well as the supplies and PPE required to operate them.